As I drove down Highway 6 toward the Rocky Mountains on 20 April 1999, hoping to find this high school I had never heard of in Columbine, where shots had been reported but no injuries, I had no conception of what I was about to witness. What was happening inside that high school was unimaginable. What it ignited was far worse. Who could have known what we were in for? The police weren’t ready: they surrounded the school and waited for demands that never came. There was no active shooter protocol; the “lockdown drill” was still unconceived and inconceivable. Why would we drill kids to hide from gunmen? None of us had an inkling that the school shooter era had begun. The school shooter era. Even 10 years after Columbine, I still couldn’t perceive what we were living through in that way. No one could. It had been going on far too long, but it was hard to predict its endurance or trajectory. While I despise the media scorekeeping – awarding the killers titles like prizefighters, giving them exactly what they crave – one stat is worth noting: what was then the most notorious mass murder in recent American history… Read full this story
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